Keeping Up with Chris Marker

still from Chris Marker’s Grin Without a Cat

Just a few years ago, it seemed like the only work by filmmaker, photographer and installation artist Chris Marker you could lay your hands on were VHS tapes of his seminal film La Jetee and, if you were lucky, his equally awesome film essay San Soleil and maybe his film-letter to the late Russian filmmaker Alexander Medvedkin, The Last Bolshevik. The two former films were issued a year or two ago by Criterion as single disc, and then, suddenly, a flood of Marker’s work was become available just as he approaches his 88th birthday. Just in the past few months, the Wexner Center has issued (if I’m counting right) five more DVDs of Marker’s films as well as a several books and a couple of T-shirts (check out the pro-Obama shirt) and a gaggle of other stuff. His CD-ROM for MacIntosh computers, Immemory, has recently been reissued by Exact Change for more recent operating systems. And then, there’s his YouTube channel, demonstrating precisely how economical and direct his work can be. It’s overwhelming. Mercifully, there is a blog dedicated to all things Marker to help you keep tabs on the onslaught of material available by one of the sharpest minds in modern imagery, including the news that on Saturday May 16th, Marker (who does not grant interviews and does not disseminate photographs of him self) will give a live tour via his avatar of his gallery on Second Life and answer questions from two curators from the Harvard Film Archive.

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